The Most Common Culprit behind Leaky Chimneys

March 20, 2015

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Chimney leaking is the most common problem facing home chimneys. More common than grout rot or drafts is the issue of water leaking inside a home through a chimney. Most often, the problem is not with a hole in the chimney grout but with a feature that is known as the flashing. Flashing is a layer of sheet metal that keeps the spaces between the roof and the chimney tightly sealed. It is the joint that connects the roof with the chimney, meant to prevent water from leaking into a home’s interior. So then, if leaking is the problem, the feature meant to protect against leaking is the probable culprit. Here are some facts about flashing and a possible solution to issues with it.Chimney Leaks

  • Flashing is made of water-resistant sheet metal. Water should not collect on it but should flow off of it and onto your roof tiles, which will then allow water to fall off of your home. It is slick enough that moisture should not collect on your flashing.
  • It is made of two distinct layers. Step flashing is the lower layer, a row of L-shaped joints that are woven into the shingles on your roof and are bound to the chimney itself. The second layer is the protective layer, called the counterflashing. This is secured into the mortar between chimney bricks and covers the step flashing along the lowest edge of the chimney.
  • Leaking problems are likely found on the corners of flashing. If the flashing was not laid properly, there may be a wide gap between the flashing and chimney, due to the fact that metal has been bent into a right angle to fit over the corner and around all four sides of the chimney. These gaps are meant to be filled with caulking, but no amount of caulking can fix poor handiwork. Water can easily seep into the gapped corners of the flashing and into your home. If this is a problem, you will need to find an expert to repair your roof flashing leak in Kennesaw, or in your city.
  • There are various types of metals, all in sheet form that can be used for chimney flashing. Galvanized steel is a strong but affordable material. Aluminum is the least expensive. Copper is often used as flashing because it lasts a very long time and can be soldered onto a chimney for a watertight seal, but it is the most expensive option.
  • It is wise to have a chimney inspected once a year for problems. The flashing is especially vulnerable to problems, so there is a chance that it can be deteriorating, even if you do not currently have a leak problem. The best type of care is preventative after all, so it is best to find gaps and have them professionally repaired before water begins leaking through them. Any other problems, like cracked mortar, can be easily filled with caulk and should not be a huge problem. Even though flashing is meant to protect against interior water damage, it is still a good idea to have a chimney itself sealed with a waterproofing finish. This will prevent water from seeping into the brick and then indoors, though resealing will need to be performed every couple of years, or whenever problems arise.

If you have a leak problem or just want to know if your chimney is ready for the rainy season, be sure to seek out an expert who can repair roof flashing leak in Kennesaw. Your chimney provides warmth and beauty to your home. Be sure that it stays strong and intact, so that it can serve you for many, many years.

Serving: Acworth, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Dallas, Kennesaw, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs and more.

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